The extension will ‘maintain a temporary expansion of social protection and allow the labour market sufficient time to recover’
The government has decided that the special R350 Covid-19 social grant will be offered for another three months as part of a new economic plan to tackle the effects of the coronavirus on the economy.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement in parliament on Thursday, when he presented the “economic reconstruction and recovery plan”.
“We will … be extending the special Covid-19 grant by a further three months. This will maintain a temporary expansion of social protection and allow the labour market sufficient time to recover,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said the Covid-19 social grant, which was introduced six months ago, had so far provided additional support to about 17 million citizens from poor households.
“As these and other recovery measures are being rolled out, we need to do everything in our means to provide support to those in society who continue to face hunger and distress.
“Through the special Covid-19 grants and the top-up of existing grants, close to R40bn in additional support has been provided directly to more than 17 million people from poor households.
“Studies have shown that these grants were vital in reducing the affect of the pandemic on poverty and hunger. The evidence suggests that the expansion of social protection has kept more than five million people above the food poverty line during the past six months.
“The special Covid-19 grant, in particular, represents a significant achievement, reaching more than six million unemployed people in a short space of time.”
BY THABO MOKONE